Monday, July 13, 2009

Rorty on Mental Entities

Two quotes from Richard Rorty on how cognitive science makes a mistake in assuming that entities like “mind,” “consciousness,” “intention,” name essences or substantial entities:

“The Galilean outlook, which says that there is no a priori reason to assume that explanatorily useful terms like ‘consciousness’ and ‘intentionality’ denote properties which have intrinsic natures, or structures which empirical research can uncover.”

“From this Galilean point of view, anything is recontextualizable either into a context-independent substance or into a slice of an indefinitely wide web of relations, depending upon the need of current empirical inquiry. But there is not sense in asking the question ‘Which is it really a substance or a slice?’"

Page 398 from Folk Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind


Robert said...

I am in awe of our ability
to imagine and to provide
the supporting data for what
we imagine. The following represents the evolution of the contemplation.

it is OK for the focus of my attention to move from what
I do not know and to rest
upon what is present within
my immediate experience

I hear it
I feel it
I taste it
I see it
I hold it
I smell it

its OK to be mindful of what I am feeling, its OK to be mindful of what needs are associated
with my feelings........

its OK to extend unconditional support, understanding, and
devotion to all of my cells,
to all of my body's, to all of my systems, and to all my personal spaces

its OK for the focus of my attention to move from what
I know and to rest upon what
I don't

(can you imagine that......I can)

Zetetic_chick said...


Philosopher David Mcarthur wrote this paper entitled "Naturalism and Skepticism":

He argues that naturalism leads to skepticism. And he argues that the naturalist strategies to overcome the skeptic's objections fail (or beg the question against the skeptic).

This paper is part of the book "Naturalism in question".

It might be of your interest.


Jeff Meyerhoff said...

Yes, I know of the book, but it's through a different article in the book. Huw Price's "Naturalism Without Representationalism" was recommended by Rorty, so I read it. I'll look at the other article but I'm generally not too interested in skepticism.

A lot of heavy-hitters in that collection though.


Jeff Meyerhoff said...


I don't get what you're trying to convey. I can't tell if it's a joke, or there's some delusion, or if you have an extreme self-absorption that doesn't allow you to think about your audience's needs when you express yourself. It seems like what you are writing is (very) meaningful to you, but I find it difficult to understand.